category:Action adventure


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    I never refused to write in the birthday book or the album of the humblest schoolgirl or schoolboy, and I could not refuse to set my name, with a verse from one of my poems, in the album of the Princess of Wales, which was sent me for that purpose. It was a nice new book, with only two or three names in it, and those of musical composers,-- Rubinstein's, I think, was one of them,--so that I felt honored by the great lady's request. I ought to describe the book, but I only remember that it was quite large and sumptuously elegant, and that I copied into it the last verse of a poem of mine called "The Chambered Nautilus," as I have often done for plain republican albums.
    St. Paul's I must and did visit. The most striking addition since I was there is the massive monument to the Duke of Wellington. The great temple looked rather bare and unsympathetic. Poor Dr. Johnson, sitting in semi-nude exposure, looked to me as unhappy as our own half-naked Washington at the national capital. The Judas of Matthew Arnold's poem would have cast his cloak over those marble shoulders, if he had found himself in St. Paul's, and have earned another respite. We brought away little, I fear, except the grand effect of the dome as we looked up at it. It gives us a greater idea of height than the sky itself, which we have become used to looking upon.
    On our second visit to Oxford we were to be the guests of the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr. Jowett. This famous scholar and administrator lives in a very pleasant establishment, presided over by the Muses, but without the aid of a Vice-Chancelloress. The hospitality of this classic mansion is well known, and we added a second pleasant chapter to our previous experience under the roof of Professor Max Müller. There was a little company there before us, including the Lord Chancellor and Lady Herschell, Lady Camilla Wallop, Mr. Browning, and Mr. Lowell. We were too late, in consequence of the bad arrangement of the trains, and had to dine by ourselves, as the whole party had gone out to a dinner, to which we should have accompanied them had we not been delayed. We sat up long enough to see them on their return, and were glad to get to bed, after our day's journey from Edinburgh to Oxford.


    3.One beauty of the Old World shops is that if a visitor comes back to the place where he left them fifty years before, he finds them, or has a great chance of finding them, just where they stood at his former visit. In driving down to the old city, to the place of business of the Barings, I found many streets little changed. Temple Bar was gone, and the much-abused griffin stood in its place. There was a shop close to Temple Bar, where, in 1834, I had bought some brushes. I had no difficulty in finding Prout's, and I could not do less than go in and buy some more brushes. I did not ask the young man who served me how the old shopkeeper who attended to my wants on the earlier occasion was at this time. But I thought what a different color the locks these brushes smooth show from those that knew their predecessors in the earlier decade!
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